Tamer studies the nexus of urbanization, planning and development in the Global South. His dissertation project – tentatively titled The Birth of Habitat: An Intellectual History of the ‘Urban Age’, 1963-2016 – explores the role of the United Nations’ specialized agencies, and their transnational epistemic networks, in the formation of an expert discourse on global urbanization. The research traces how this policy discourse shifted in focus from housing in ‘Third World’ cities to urban governance on a global scale. The project aims to situate these intellectual and institutional reorientations within broader historical transformations in North-South relations, from the conditions of the Cold War and decolonization to the global ascendency of neoliberal capitalism.
Tamer’s research interests also encompass the spatial political economy of mega-projects and large infrastructural networks in postcolonial Egypt and the Middle East. He is particularly interested in infrastructures of mobility, and how roads and highways mediated reconfigurations of state space and state power over the last four decades in Egypt (exploratory archival research funded by the Social Science Research Council’s (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship). Past research assignments include: critical GIS mapping of extractive economies and large-scale water and energy infrastructure in postcolonial North Africa (Urban Theory Lab); critical GIS mapping of water and energy infrastructure in the US (Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure); exploratory fieldwork and mapping of the infrastructural landscapes of coastal engineering works in the Nile Delta (Penny White research grant).
He is currently a PhD student in urban studies at Harvard University and a Graduate Student Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Tamer holds a Master of Design Studies in urbanism, landscape and ecology from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), a Master of Landscape Architecture from FH Anhalt, Germany; a Post-professional Certificate in GIS and Environment from Salford University, UK; and a Bachelor of Architecture from Faculty of Fine Arts, Egypt. He has previously practiced landscape architecture in Egypt and Germany, and worked as an environmental researcher for the Center for the Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, Bibliotheca Alexandrina.